Earlier this week, I found out that an old friend of mine, Mitch Sturges, committed suicide.
I hadn’t had a good conversation with him since April last year, and now I feel terrible about that. I didn’t leave things on a good note, and now I’ll never have the chance to.
The least I can do, however, is tell a piece of Mitch’s story, and why he is important to me.
Four years ago, first serious girlfriend, who I’d been dating long distance for a little over a year, broke up with me right before my final exams. I was devastated. Morose. Hopeless. This was to be the true beginning of my journey. Had I not had help, I shudder to think of what might have been.
Mitch, was that help. I’d been reading his blog, Veritas Aculeus – The Truth Hurts, for months in 2011. After reading a post of his about his dealings with a submissive lawyeress, I emailed him asking for advice about that. He was Simon Rierdon, then.
A while later – I emailed him asking for help, after my girlfriend had broken up with me. I was inconsolable. My parents offered their sympathies and some help, but there was only so much they could do. I didn’t know where else to which I could turn.
Between May 2012 and December 2012, Mitch and I exchanged at least 72 emails, most of which I sent.
He took me under his wing, answered all of my questions. Messed with my head a little. Called me on the phone, took my calls. We’d often have phone conversations that would last three hours or more. Eventually, he switched over from Veritas Aculeus to Apocalypse Cometh and remade himself as Bill Powell. He would comment on my fledgling blog, in various names, offering encouragement and advice. He would link to my blog, sending views to my way. He’d talk about posts he liked, I’d talk about posts of his I liked. Hell, he even offered my blog legal protection. The copyright of my blog, the “footer”, which I need to update, was his own:
Talking to him gave me a sense of hope I had lost, and made me feel like I was not crazy. That was a feeling I hadn’t felt in a long time.
He introduced me to a lot of different blogs and got me in touch with a variety of different people, Dr. Illusion, Matt Forney, being one of them. He encouraged me to reach out to many more, as I had been doing before.
There’s another thing I must give him credit for. My [relatively] newfound love and respect for my parents.
In December 2012, we had a long phone call where Mitch told about his father passing and how he regretted not telling his old man he loved him a little more. He instructed that I ask my parents if they loved me and make sure they knew I loved them. Despite the fact that my family is not big on emotions, I took his advice. After the phone call, I promptly asked my mother.
“Mom, do you love me?”
“Of course I do, Son.”
“I love you, Mom.”
“I love you too.”
I then tracked my Father down and asked him.
“Dad, do you love me?
“Is it not obvious, after all your mother and I have done for you?”*
“I guess, I just haven’t heard you say it in a while.”
“I used to say it a lot, when you were younger. You don’t remember.”
“I love you, Dad.”
“I love you too, Son.”
Given that I was watching a movie with my parents when I took the call from Mitch (which lasted for about 1 hour), I was unsurprised with my Father’s response. Though it may look a little unreasonable or uncaring, it was not. I’ll have to tell you another story, some other time about my Father to explain the asterisk.
Since then, I’ve learned more about my parents. Talked with them more. Talked with them about my blog and various posts I’ve written. My love and respect for that has only grown since then. I give credit to Mitch for helping me take the first step on that path. Now, I am free to say, that were either of my parents to die tomorrow, morose and devastated as I’d be, I’d not sit in a corner, with a bottle of Jack and regrets as my only company. It’s a comfort, especially now, as my Mother recovers still from a stroke that nearly took her from me over a year ago.
Mitch, in his own way was one of the forefathers to the manosphere. In his own way, he was a like a father to me. He was the first one to reach out to me. He was the first one there for me, at times when no one else was. I miss him already. I only wish that the last thing I said to him, was the thanks he deserved.
I love you, Mitch. Raise hell, up there.
Requiesce in pace, frater.